THE ROYAL Shakespeare company (RSC) has condemned racist comments in response to its new production Much Ado About Nothing.
The backlash emerged on social media following the release of artwork of the production which features a black cast.
A statement from the theatre company said: “The RSC does not tolerate discriminatory comments in any form. We work with the finest theatre artists to interpret Shakespeare’s plays for our own time.
“This production of Much Ado About Nothing will do just that, with a distinguished cast and creative team and a visionary design.
“The team deserve to be treated with respect and we will not stand by when ignorant, hurtful responses are posted publicly.
“We must call them out as what they are; racist.”
As reported by national media, the show’s artistic director Erica Whyman said ‘the idea Shakespeare’s plays belonged to one group and not another was nonsense’ and the comments came from a place of ‘ignorance’ about ‘what storytelling’ is.
The production, which is set in an afro-futuristic world’, stars Michael Balogun and Akiya Henry as central characters Benedick and Beatrice.
It will run at Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre from February 4 to March 12.
Visit www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on to book.